In both male and female African elephants, tusks grow for most of an elephant’s lifetime, and are an indicator of age. About 1/3 of the tusk’s total length lies hidden inside the skull and are, in fact, elongated incisors.
They are around the same length in both sexes, reaching up to 10 ft.–although those of males tend to be thicker.
It is rare today to find any tusks over 100 pounds. In earlier times, however, elephant tusks weighing 200+ lbs. were not uncommon.
“Tusks of this size are not found on elephants in Africa today, as over the years hunters and poachers have taken animals with the largest tusks. Because tusk size is an inherited characteristic, it is rare to find one now that would weigh more than 100 pounds.” (www.outtoafrica.nl/animals/engelephant.html)
The largest tusk ever recorded weighed 214 pounds and was 138 inches long.
Another fun tusk fact? Elephants are “right- or left-tusked,” using the favored tusk more often as a tool, thus, shortening it from constant wear. Tusks will differ in size, shape and direction; researchers use them (and the elephant’s ears) to identify individuals.